Friday, May 3, 2013

Rabbi Dr. Twerski: My Own Struggle with Low Self-Esteem

 This a related to the previous post Pandemic of low self-esteem in yeshivos


  1. Could you please point out the flaws in what is claimed here

    1. See my citation from Wikipedia in the previous post. Bottom line is that Rabbi Twerski has made self-esteem the central focus in his writings and therapy. However he apparently does not make any attempt to prove that patient problems were related to self-esteem and that by therapy he succeeded in raising self-esteem scores on some scale.

      Without some type of data - this is simply anecdotal evidence which could easily be explained in a different framework.

  2. I imagine if one picked up a phone to Rav Reuven Feinstein or Rav Twersky they would tell you something like this: In our times, unless a Jew feels positive about himself and his Jewish practice he will fall easy prey to the blandishments and philosophies of the street.

    1. Do you really think that have a false awareness of yourself - is the way to protect against the street? Rabbi Dr. Twerski defines self-esteem as a real evalatuion of who you are.

      My point is that these procedures to not produce a real self-awareness.

  3. I discussed this issue of self esteem and its relation to musar back in 2006. I basically agree with Rabbi Eidenson. My post and the subsequent comments cover some of the arguments given here plus some other issues.


  4. Just being myselfMay 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Mainstream psychology also recognizes that self-esteem is a major variable in the emotional problems that drive people to seek help. Perhaps, Rav Twerski's statements seem to generalize in a way that makes one question, but they are certainly not revolutionary.

    I have heard the rav speak many times, and he records in his many books many statements about self esteem that are Torah based, rather than on secular psychology. In one of the simple comments, he notes that self-esteem (actually better labeled self-perception) forms the lenses through which one sees the rest of the world, not just the self. This is clear in the posuk by the מרגלים in which they refer to having seen the giants, and ונהי' בעינינו כחגבים וכן היינו בעיניהם.

    As for a "real" evaluation of self, this presents an immense challenge. Most of us settle for self assessments that speak more of our ideals than a true inventory of what we are internally, "for real". Now, that's food for thought.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.